New director of scholarship giving reports progress

Patricia Wlasuk

Patricia Wlasuk

Earlier this year, Patricia Wlasuk, a six-year employee of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, was named director of scholarship giving following a national search. She now spearheads the college’s new UF Veterinary Access Scholarship program.

Already, the program has seen significant progress, she said.

“Since establishing the UF Veterinary Access Scholarship program in January, alumni, faculty and friends have responded,” Wlasuk said. “Thanks to a very generous challenge gift of $100,000 gift from Dr. Paul Nicoletti, a faculty emeritus, we raised more than $204,000 in just four short months.”

Compared to 2014, the college has already seen a 24 percent increase in the amount of scholarships being awarded and an 11 percent decrease in the amount of the average student debt, Wlasuk said.

Student debt has been a hot topic nationally since 2007 when the American Veterinary Medical Association asked the National Academy of Sciences’ research council to complete a study on the current and future workforce needs in veterinary medicine. The study identified the indebtedness of graduates as a major trend affecting all of veterinary medicine.

“Veterinarians play an important role in public health, so the escalating veterinary medical student debt will impact human health as well,” Wlasuk said.

Prior to her appointment, Wlasuk served as the college’s assistant director of development and alumni affairs. She was first hired as a development associate at UF in 2008, joining the college’s staff in 2009.

With escalating student debt continuing to rise more rapidly than wages, the college’s dean, Dr. James W. Lloyd, launched the new scholarship initiative with the goal of rapidly increasing annual scholarship awards by tenfold.

“The UF College of Veterinary Medicine is a national leader in so many areas,” Wlasuk said. “We need to be a leader for our students and the profession by tackling the debt load issue head on.”

Currently, the college awards $500,000 annually to 448 students.

“By providing more scholarship support, our hope is that graduates will have more career options and access to accept job opportunities that are important to the profession and the health and welfare of animals and humans,” she said.

Share this article with others:
  • E-mail this story to a friend!
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Twitter

July-August 2015

Veterinary student with a dog.

UF Small Animal Hospital accredited by national group

The UF Small Animal Hospital is one of only six academic veterinary hospitals to hold accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association.

Ribbon cutting at clinical skills laboratory opening on Aug. 4.

Ribbon cutting marks completion of new clinical skills laboratory

A ribbon cutting event marks completion of a new state-of-the-art clinical skills laboratory at the college.

Geof Zann

UF student receives national Merial Veterinary Research Scholar Award

A third-year veterinary student has received the prestigious national 2015 Merial Veterinary Research Scholar award.

Conference on aquatic ecosystem health draws participants from nine countries

The First Aquatic Ecosystem Health Conference was held in Gainesville, drawing expertise in ranaviruses and marine mammals.

...also in this issue



Around the College